Trump says No! to a carbon tax

By Evan Lehmann | 05/13/2016 04:16 PM EDT

Donald Trump today rejected the idea of using a carbon tax to address climate change after ClimateWire reported that the presumptive Republican nominee had picked Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) to advise him on energy issues.

"I will not support or endorse a carbon tax!" Trump tweeted this afternoon.

Cramer is a second-term congressman who believes a small carbon tax could replace the Clean Power Plan, President Obama’s signature climate policy targeting greenhouse gas emissions at electric power plants. Cramer says the carbon revenue could be used to fund "clean fossil fuel" research and development (ClimateWire, May 13).


Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks told E&ENews PM in an email that Cramer "is one of many advising Mr. Trump on energy issues, however under no circumstances would Mr. Trump impose a carbon tax."

When asked how Trump would address the Clean Power Plan, which aims to cut emissions 32 percent from the electricity sector if it survives legal challenges, Hicks said, "We will follow up when we are ready to discuss additional specific energy policies and plans."

Cramer is writing at least two white papers on energy policy for the Trump campaign. They focus on the economic benefits of using domestic fossil fuels and rolling back Obama-era regulations. Cramer said yesterday he hasn’t spoken with Trump about climate change, and he did not mention a carbon tax in the context of the white papers.

Asked what advice he might give Trump on global warming, he said, "But my advice would be, while I’m a skeptic as well, he is a product of political populism, and political populism believes that there needs [to be] some addressing of climate change."

Trump has questioned climate science. In a December rally in South Carolina, he called it a "hoax" and suggested it’s being promoted by Democrats and clean energy companies to make money. In previous remarks, Trump has said global warming is a financial invention of the Chinese.